The preservation of Arkansas rural folk music and craft traditions in Mountain View stems from the efforts of a local highschool teacher who derived some fame in the 1940-60 period under the stage name of Jimmy Driftwood. He had the support of a group of locals (one a Grandpa Jones) who formed a team called the Rackensack Society whom he did minitours with. The Society was joined by enthusiasts and contributors and continues to have pickin-meetings today in various places and oversees aspects of the Festivals and Workshops that continue. Ultimately his efforts resulted in the Federal funding of the Ozark Folk Center in 1973. It is just out of town and is a State Park with a fine restaurant (The Skillet) and good accomodations (Dry Creek Lodge). The organization nurtures such things in its activites as the hammered dulcimer and "Old Time Fiddler" Contests. There are venues in various places around the weekend with professional performances but this is no Branson. During the day (when open) there are demonstration (and of course sales) of folk crafts. In a modest way these are also preserved and the tourism provides a source of income for thr community.
Fondest memory: Our adult children's performances ( a second son is also singing in with the group).
the focus of the entire town of mountain view is music, especially old-timey music, which includes for these purposes early country, folk, bluegrass, traditional/appalachian, and gospel.
the ozark folk center has professional shows featuring these types of music, but you can hear much of the same music for free at jimmy driftwood's barn (the name of a local music performance place) on friday or sunday nights, and on the downtown square on any night when the weather is tolerable.
if you have an acoustic (non-electric) instrument, bring it with you, and go to the square. there will be many small circles of people playing together. if you stand nearby with your instrument in view, you will usually be asked or allowed to join the circles, where the custom is to go around with each person leading one song. you do not have to be a pro!
most local musicians are very friendly and patient with newcomers.
Fondest memory: playing music on the porch of the music shop, with people wandering up with various instruments.